He knew, through the incessant rumbling of his intestines, that the time of his departure was near. This flight has been cancelled more than thrice. But this time around, he was almost certain that he'd finally take off.
Mr. Lloyd, the richest man in his province, was known for many good reasons. A lot of people saw him as a fortunate man. "As lucky as Lloyd", was a common adage in the neighborhood. The young, and the old wished they were a lloyd.
Little did they know that buried in those bright blue eyes of his, which sparkled like a fresh wine of champagne, were unfortunate tales, only known to him, and of course, his personal doctor.
Why wouldn't his doctor know, when he was the one who first spilled the beans to Fred Lloyd?
"I'm sorry sir, this has gone past the curative stage; we will do all we can to buy you more time, but we can't assure you of a permanent cure". Doctor Pete lamented.
The young man listened in silence, his gestures suggesting nothing. His expression was cold. After keeping mute for good number of seconds, he managed to ask, "how long do I have?"
"We can't be certain sir, but you certainly don't have a long time. If you stick to medical instructions, and fight hard for your life, you might be fortunate to live for another two decades."
Lloyd had stuck to his doctor's directives to the letter. Little wonder he was now nearing his fifty, despite being diagnosed with stage 3 stomach ulcer in his twenties. Maybe the public were right. The chap was quite lucky.
After the sad revelation, the young man had become more intense in his pursuit, which was to change the narrative of his family. And he did. Except you were above fifty, you'd know nothing of the Lloyds save we're talking about wealth and nobility. Thanks to Fred Lloyd who burnt the candles at both ends to unearth ancient but ageless secrets, which earned him the reputation of the wisest man in his part of the country.
He was often consulted by big firms and governments of different countries, owing to his wisdom. That's where he got the bulk of his wealth from.
He was now a billionaire. He had completed his mission_the mission of totally overhauling his family's fortune. In his region, Lloyd was synonymous with wealth and affluence. He wasn't scared of death, because he believed he had finished his work, except for one.
"Who would inherit my wealth?"
He couldn't have been talking about his material possessions as he had already willed those ones to charity.
The only thing Fred regarded as true riches was his wisdom. He knew that it was buried in the pages of the books in his well arranged U-shaped library.
He had been pacing around the spacious library for some minutes, with thoughts bumping into his already occupied mind, without permission. He raised his well built arm, Slightly above his head, spreading his succulent looking fingers to reveal his well trimmed nails. That was before waving his hand repeatedly in quick succession for three times as though gesturing for someone to go away.
He was indeed trying to wave someone away. His thoughts were like little humans to him. The waving was his usual gesture, whenever he wanted to dismiss a thought. He succeeded in dismissing the thoughts, save for one. He settled for that one thought, just as he settled on his foamy chair with golden arms.
"I have three sons, but I have shielded them from working hard; now they are too lazy to unravel the wealth concealed in these treasures". He thought to himself as he glanced through his collections of books.
"If I give up the ghost without giving this my wealth to my sons, then I'd die a failure. Being mentioned among the wise, would be flattery. I'm wise, and it's time I proved my wisdom".
As he was pondering, he stumbled upon an intelligent idea, his face shone while his lips curved in an elegant motion, parting away from each other to reveal the diastema in his upper front incisors.
He'd spend his remaining three years in joy. Fred Lloyd died a happy man at 52.
The children gathered for the reading of the will. The content surprised them. It was only a statement.
"Search the books in my library carefully for the code that will unlock my pool of wealth".
No sooner had the will been read, than the children got busy.
They divided themselves into the three sections of the library, reading the books in-between lines to uncover the secret code to their father's pool of wealth.
Yes! They found it, because they soon became wise enough to be consulting for the firms their father was consulting for.
They inherited their dad's true wealth. His wisdom was their inheritance.
The Lloyd's dynasty was preserved.